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Newark: Parents at Magnus Church of England Academy frustrated over mobile phone confiscation rules

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Parents have taken to social media to express their concerns about a school’s mobile phone confiscation policy.

They say that the confiscation rules at Magnus Church of England Academy, Newark, put their children’s safety at risk, with phones being taken away for up to a week.

The current policy states that if a pupil is caught using their phone twice, it will be confiscated for seven days and returned to a parent or guardian only.

Exterior of Magnus School, Newark.
Exterior of Magnus School, Newark.

However, some parents feel that confiscating the device for a day would be more reasonable.

One Facebook user wrote: “If a pupil has their mobile phone confiscated outside of school hours, you are taking away their ability to contact parents or anyone else in an emergency.

“I believe that if a pupil is found to be using their phone then confiscating it for the school day is reasonable and proportionate. Confiscating a phone overnight for a pupil whose phone is an important safety item, I do not feel is reasonable, and puts their safety at risk.”

Magnus Church of England Academy.
Magnus Church of England Academy.

Following complaints, the school changed the policy this week so that phones are confiscated for seven days.

Previously, devices could be confiscated at any point during the week and could be collected after school on a Friday, meaning the punishment was harsher on some than others.

Jim Semmelroth, head of school at the Magnus Church of England Academy, said: “Magnus has always had policies in place concerning use of mobile phones during school hours. Our policy has been updated this week, however, following both parental and governor consultation, in order to make consequences for students fairer.

“This update was in response to parental and student voice.

“Policies for use of mobile phones during school time is motivated, not only by the distraction to learning they can cause, but more significantly by the safeguarding of pupils, this also reflects Department for Education guidelines.

“Magnus Academy works closely with parents and will always make reasonable adjustments to ensure the safeguarding and inclusion of all our students.”

The school said that it would make reasonable adjustments to any part of the policy on a parent’s request.

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